Commentariat Is Not Constituency

“Government is not supposed to be efficient. The Founders recognized how bad things happen in efficient governmental systems.… Efficiency breeds tyranny.”

On Thursday, House Republicans failed to pass a piece of legislation related to the border crisis. The commentariat in Washington roundly criticized the House Republican leadership. On Friday, instead of trying to ram through a piece of legislation, the House GOP found consensus among its members and passed the legislation.

The commentariat roundly criticized the GOP for passing something that could not make it out of the Senate. Never mind that the Senate had already fled Washington. The Wall Street Journal editorial page assailed conservatives, Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, and the House GOP for bringing to the public’s attention to the rift within the GOP. Ironically, for a bunch of hand wringing about exposing rifts, the Wall Street Journal does a very good job of exposing it.

The media-centered commentariat has been wholly dismissive of the House GOP, Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, and the conservatives. The media wants a deal. The commentariat wants a deal. The institutionalist factions of Washington, D.C. are desperate for a deal. They have created their own echo chamber and feedback loop in favor of a deal and because they did not get what they wanted, the House GOP must have broken down in some way.

They blame Rush Limbaugh for the break. They blame RedState. They blame Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, For America, Tea Party Patriots, and a long list of others. They say the House GOP is too interested in the opinions of these groups and catering to the whims of these groups. Really what they mean is that the House GOP is not catering to the commentariat, the Gang of 500, the DC institutionalists, and other like mind groups.

What they miss is simple. The House is not listening to them, but the House is not waiting with bated breath to take orders from Heritage Action, RedState, Rush Limbaugh or any other outside influencer save the most important — their constituents. The circle of jerks in Washington is so focused on their own needs and interests and so used to getting their way, they forget there is a more important constituency and it is actually made of up voting constituents.

The circle of jerks in Washington sometimes forgets the slow and grinding pace of government is all a feature and not a bug. They are used to getting their way. In the past few years they have had a harder and harder time getting their way. While this has made the allure of a go-it-alone President more intriguing for them, they forget the Founders designed the system to be extraordinarily difficult to get things done.

Consider, for a moment, the masturbatory gleefulness of the Circle of Jerks and their acolytes to this Steve LaTourette piece. LaTourette posits that conservative outside groups and their insiders like Ted Cruz are “grifters”. He posits they are a “grifter wing” opposing a “governing wing.” What LaTourette is really saying is that there are outsiders who more and more in Congress are listening to and there are insiders who Congress used to listen to and he wishes Congress would go back to listening to them. LaTourette’s firm made over a million dollars in 2013 and wants to be listened to.

Notice please that LaTourette never mentions two words: “voters” or “constituents.” He does not care about them. He cares about his profit and, in an act more and more common these days, projects his own sins onto others because it is the only way he understands them.

Given that LaTourette’s two greatest skills in Washington have been adultery and profiting from his tenure, I assume his next op-ed will accuse Ted Cruz of infidelity to conservatives. Yes, we should not be surprised that the man accusing conservatives of “grifting” cheated on his wife with a lobbyist who, some reports have noted, had business before the committee on which LaTourette sat while in Congress.

In fact, though the Circle of Jerks, their acolytes engaged in masturbatory glee at LaTourette’s crying, and guys like LaTourette himself ignore it, don’t mention it, and presume they are the constituency, there are in fact two houses of Congress with two different constituencies, plus a President and a court system — not to mention several states with the same systems duplicated in them. Government is not supposed to be efficient. The Founders recognized how bad things happen in efficient governmental systems. This gets to Ross Douthat’s excellent column on where Barack Obama is headed with the Circle of Jerks cheering him on. Efficiency breeds tyranny.

Whether one likes what happened in the House of Representatives or not, it is operating within the system the Founders created and they are listening to the constituency they are constitutionally chartered to listen to — voters in congressional districts. What the Circle of Jerks view as aggravating bugs hampering the system, the Founders viewed as a feature of the system. We may be at the “halt and catch fire” point of this feature, but that then is what elections are for. When the country is ever more divided, the congress necessarily works ever more slowly by design.

The bug in the system is a Washington of permanence. The Founders did not intend that to be a feature. The politicians were supposed to go home. They were not supposed to be a fixture of the swamp creating a new aristocracy. That is what they have become. The system is on the verge of a constitutional crisis because of this permanent class of politician turned lobbyist befriended by a commentariat who whore each other for gossip, sleep with each other for pleasure, dine with each other for frivolity, and circle the wagons against the outsiders. Steve LaTourette, who laments that he is not being listened to anymore, is a perfect example of this. He cheats on his wife with a lobbyist, leaves office, and stays to turn the system and taxpayer dollars toward his preferred interests. Then he has the audacity to accuse others of “grifting” in a publication that itself profits from the present system of permanence. Pot, meet kettle.

They are so used to the bug of permanence that they turned it into a feature to grease wheels and speed things along. When the system corrects itself, when elections change things, and when the gridlock by constitutional design rears its head, they would rather add more bugs to the coding than step back, take a breath, and remember things are supposed to be slow and they themselves are not supposed to be permanent.

We head now to a constitutional crisis because the political class that should have never been permanent cannot get its way from a system working as its founders intended it — a system where the members of the House of Representatives listen to their voters in their districts, not to general public opinion polling, editorialists, commentators, pundits, or politicians turned lobbyists.